Entertainment & Arts

George Takei’s Broadway musical ‘Allegiance’ breaks a theater-screening record

George Takei’s Broadway musical “Allegiance”
Lea Salonga and George Takei perform in the Broadway musical “Allegiance,” whose successful screening in movie theaters last month will be followed with a one-day encore Feb. 19.
(Matthew Murphy / TNS)

If you missed George Takei’s Broadway musical, “Allegiance” — or the subsequent one-night-only screening of the live production in movie theaters nationwide — then fear not.   It’s coming back by popular demand.

The Dec. 13 movie-theater presentation of “George Takei’s Allegiance: The Broadway Musical on the Big Screen” set a record for the company that presented it, Fathom Events. The premiere was its highest-grossing one-night Broadway musical event to date, the 14-year-old company said, bringing in more than $1 million in ticket sales in about 600 theaters.     

“George Takei’s Allegiance” will return to select theaters for a one-day encore Feb. 19.

“Allegiance,” which was Takei’s Broadway debut, is about the internment of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was loosely inspired by the actor’s own childhood, and Takei played a World War II veteran looking back on his youth. The production debuted in 2012 at the Old Globe in San Diego; it opened on Broadway in November 2015 and closed the following February.


Part of the Fathom success was no doubt because of Takei’s popularity. The original Mr. Sulu of “Star Trek,” now 79 and an outspoken political activist, has become a social media star with more than 10 million Facebook “likes” and about 1.9 million Twitter followers. But the musical’s subject also gives “Allegiance” a relevance that may resonate broadly, Takei said.

“At a time when echoes of the interment ring once again far too loud in our political discourse, there’s never been a better moment for the story of ‘Allegiance’ to find new audiences,” Takei said in a statement. “It is a true testament to the power and the relevance of this story that so many people attended its premiere in December, and it is only appropriate that even more people will be able to witness it on such an important day as Feb. 19, 2017.”

The upcoming screening is scheduled on what’s being called the Day of Remembrance, the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which initiated the forced relocation and internment of an estimated 120,000  people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens.

“The Day of Remembrance is a day of commemoration, of reflection and of learning,” Takei said, “and I hope ‘Allegiance’ can play an important role in its celebration, this year, and for many years to come.”


Follow me on Twitter: @debvankin


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